Separating the towns of Weymouth and Hingham on the Southeast corner of Boston Harbor is the lesser known Weymouth Back River. This relatively hidden area provides for some good boating and docking opportunities, as well as some scenic views on the adjacent trails at Bare Cove Park. The area also has some WWII-era history.
The Weymouth Back River at dusk:
The marshes at the head of the Weymouth Back River. The river was historically a major spawning ground for river herring- this food source was a major driver of the settling of the area back in colonial times.
Looking North (downstream) from the head of the river:
Exploring the back river area today: The area can be accessed via boat the entrance to the back river Below is a chart of the area. North of the Route 3A bridge, the river is wide enough to accommodate large boats. There are two major marinas along the banks of the River: Hingham Shipyard Marina and Tern Harbor Marina in Weymouth. South of the bridge, boating activity is limited to small craft at high tide. (See commentary at the end of this post for more about the 3A bridge).
The area can also be accessed by hikers and pedestrians. The trails of Bare Cove Park are located near the flats at the head of the river, toward the bottom of the chart.
*NOAA nautical chart. See disclaimer at NOAA.gov.
Several of the sites you may see while walking the trails: An old wall remaining of one of the roughly 60 munitions storage magazines that were located in this area during WWII. Like nearby Wompatuck state park, this area was used as a major munitions storage area for the North Atlantic Naval Fleet. Old military structures and abandoned railroad beds are frequently seen in the area.
Wharf pilings that remain from an old dock:
Some of the many coves and inlets of the park:
The smokestack which still remains today from the Weymouth town incinerator. The area near the incinerator that is abutted by the Greenbush rail line was once occupied by several factories.
Looking North over the remains of the old pier toward the Route 3A bridge:
The Weymouth town ramp off Neck Street, which is one of the better boat ramps on the South Shore. It is located on the North side of the Back River, downstream of the Route 3A bridge (visible here). Most boaters will not want to go upstream from the bridge due to its low depths- especially at low tide.